55th Regimental Band meeting President
55th Regimental Band

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In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

About This Image

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this photograph of October 1, 1907, we see the 55th Regiment Band of Centerville, under the direction of "Prof." George W. Landers, in the rail yard of Keokuk, Iowa. The band is waiting to escort President Theodore Roosevelt in a parade up to Rand Park were he delivered a speech. Immediately afterward, President Roosevelt embarked on a calliope-stop tour down the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee in the riverboat "Mississippi" that is visible in the upper left hand corner of the image.

Additional Information

On October 1, 1907, President Roosevelt arrived by train in Keokuk, Iowa, where he was to give a speech before embarking upon a river boat trip down the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee, stopping along the way to give additional speeches.

Large crowds turned out to greet the President, despite the drizzly weather. After spending 20 minutes on the train answering telegrams which were hand-delivered by Keokuk's mayor, President Roosevelt took his place in a carriage, along with Iowa's Governor and Keokuk's Mayor, for the ride up to Rand Park where he was to deliver a speech. In the President's entourage were 21 additional carriages, containing 11 current and former Governors, numerous members of Congress, state officials - both elected and appointed, judges, military officers, reporters, and local leading citizens. National Guard units from Burlington, Centerville, Fairfield, and Ft. Madison escorted the dignitaries. The 55th Regimental Band supplied the music for the parade, performing "A Hot Time in the Old Town."

At the park, the band played patriotic music while the platform party organized itself. President Roosevelt spoke for approximately 50 minutes. After some brief introductory remarks in which the President took time to acknowledge the Civil War Veterans, mothers, and children in the audience, the president spoke on the need of reigning in Wall Street. His words were cited as the cause for a dip in the stock market that day. While speaking, the president ignored a light rain that began to fall. Following his speech, the "Colored Citizens" of Keokuk presented the president with a gold-headed cane.

After the ceremony, the President returned quickly by carriage to the river front where he boarded the steamer "Mississippi" for a trip down to Memphis, Tennessee, with stops in Cairo, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. From the boiler deck of the river boat, the President surveyed the dozens of boats containing people who taken to the water to see the president off on his journey.

The Daily Gate City, Keokuk, Iowa, Oct. 2, 1907


Scene at the Union Station When President Roosevelt Arrived Was One That Will Long be Remembered


How the Program in Rand Park was Conducted to the Great Satisfaction of the Thousands of People.

Yesterday was the greatest day ever seen by Keokuk in many ways. More notable people were in the city than were ever here in one day before. More people people who are not notable, as far as being in the public eye is concerned, were in the city than ever before. More possible good was done for the future of Keokuk than ever in one day before. More Keokuk perople were entirely pleased with the day’s program than ever before. More people were sent to their homes entirely delighted with the day and the manner in which they were treated than ever before.

President Roosevelt arrived in Keokuk at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and was driven to the park in a parade which was composed of governors, senators, representatives, notable men of the army and navy, prominent commercial men of the country and representative citizens of this city. In Rand park the chief executive delivered a speech that was characteristic of him, was presented a gold headed cane by the colored citizens of the city and after a brief reception on the platform was driven to the lower lock where he went on board the steamer Mississippi to make the trip down the river to St. Louis, Cairo, and Memphis on the most notable inland waterway journey ever made by any president of this land. From the boiler deck of the Mississippi President Roosevelt reviewed the parade of launches assembled to do him honor and shortly afterwards departed on the big boat down the river, thus closing the chief feature of the most strenuous day Keokuk has ever experienced.

Arrival of the Nation’s Chief.

Amid the cheering of several thousand people assembled on the river bank and on the bluffs the Wabash special train from Springfield rolled into the Union station, promptly on schedule time, at 9 o’clock. On the platform were the governors of the various states represented in the city, the mayor and members of the reception committee, a large detachment of old soldiers and the four companies of the Iowa National guard from Fort Madison, Burlington, Centerville, and Fairfield. After the presidential train arrived there was a delay of fully twenty minutes during which the crowds of people grew restless in their eagerness to catch the first glimpse of the president. This delay was caused by the reading of many telegrams by the president which were received here for him and were hand to him by Mayor Strimback. The president hastily read the messages and dictated responses to many of them before he left his private car, the Magnet. When the head of the nation arrived on the platform of the car there was prolonged cheering from thousands of throats. After a brief introduction and hand shaking with the members of the reception committee and the governors assembled at the station President Roosevelt entered Carriage No. 1 in which he was accompanied by Governor Cummins, Mayor Strimback and Secretary William Loeb. The other carriages were hastily filled with the governors and other prominent men of the party, accompanied by prominent local men and the parade was begun. As the president alighted from the car and entered his carriage the Fifty-fifth Regimental band of Centerville played Hail to the Chief and the troops stood at attention. Before starting to enter his carriage President Roosevelt shook hands with some of the veterans in line to greet him at the station. There was no time lost in the formation of the line of march, the band, the troops of the national guard and the carriages dropping into the places designed for them and moving off at a lively rate. As soon as the president took his seat in his carriage the people began to scramble for the upper part of the city to get a good view of the parade as it passed up Main street or to Rand park to pick out a good place from which to hear the president speak.

The Parade.

There is something inspiring in watching the chief executive of the nation being driven through the streets of a busy city. President Roosevelt was given an ovation, from the very minute that he took a seat in the carriage, until he made the record-breaking run down Third street to Bank, and from there to the levee and to the lower locks, where he boarded the Mississippi. The guard of honor, members of Governor Cummins staff, were going some, from the time the special train arrived over the Wabash until the pilot on the steam boat rang the bell which indicated that it was the time to pull in the ropes and start on the eight hundred mile jaunt down the river. Alderman A.J. [illegible] was in the lead, he being marshall of the parade. E. F. Renaud, Alderman Carle and T.H.R. Rollins were the assistants. The companies of the national guard from Ft. Madison, Burlington, Fairfield and Centerville made a fine showing as they marched in quickstep time to the music of the Fifty-Fifth Regimental band of the Iowa national guard.

Officers Griffey and Tigue were on either side of the carriage containing the president and those who were with him, including Governor Cummins of Iowa and Mayor Strimback of Keokuk. The secret service men were on duty, too, and they took good care that no one came too close to the [fandan?] There was no hitch in the arrangment at any stage of the game. The crowd was packed in on both sides of the street and they were all cheering Roosevelt, who was kept busy acknowledging greetings. The band played “A Hot Time in the Old Town” and the Postal Telegraph company’s messenger boys, perched on top of the clock tower of the office, threw their hats in the air, while the president gave them one of his famous salutes. The “America” was played, the distinguished guest keeping himself busy in the meantime, so much so that he did not have time to sit down from the minute the procession reached Second and Main streets until the turn was made at Eleventh.

Belknap post, G.A.R., was in line five hundred strong, under the command of Captain L.A. Barnhill. Chris Lock and his drum were very much in evidence and the inspiring notes of the martial music made everyone along the line of march fell young again. Montrose and Ft. Madison veterans were out in force, too, and they marched all the way to Tenth and Main, where ranks were broken and the boys in blude boarded street cars for the park.

Governor Johnson of Minnesota, was taken ill after he arrived in the city and was unable to take his place in the buggy assigned to him.

Arrival at Rand Park.

It was 10:10 o’clock when the first part of the parade arrived at the speakers’ stand which had been erected just south of the flower garden on exactly the same spot as the platform occupied when the president spoke in this city four years ago the 28th of last April. The grand regimental band from Centerville, under the direction of the veteran master Prof. George W. Landers, took up a position in front and at the left of the stand and at the right side of the living flag composed of several hundred children from the schools of the city. This band rendered The Battle Cry of Freedom and other patriotic airs as the president alighted from the carriage. As he approached the chair provided for him, a massive chair made of osage orange, the children of the living flag arose and to the music of the band sang with good effect The Star Spangled Banner. Prof. P.C. Hayden conducting the singing. When the band began to play this air and the children started to sing the president rose and motioned to those who were seated to do likewise. He stood fixed upon the spot, apparently greatly impressed by the singing of the many children and at the conclusion of the song he clapped his hands approvingly. President Roosevelt noticed that down in front of the speakers’ platform there were some benches reserved for the old soldiers and not all used that were empty and at once arose and called out to the people to come to the front and fill the seats. Governor Cummins [?] arose and called to the members of the National guard who were guarding the platform to open ranks and let some of the children and women who were outside enter and help to fill the seats. Among those who moved towards the stand to fill the benches was a man carrying a baby. The president noticed him and called out: “Make room for that fellow with the baby. When a man carries a baby he is a good fellow.”

Those in the Carriages.

The carriages in the parade were each numbered with a large card, giving the people an opportunity of knowing who was in each one. The first carriage, of course, was the one which attracted every eye, for in it was the president of the United States, his secretary, the governor and the mayor of Keokuk.

Keokuk aldermen and prominent citizens were given places in the various carriages as hosts for the distinguished visitors and the occupants of the carriages were as follows:

Carriage No. 1. – Theodore Roosevelt, president; W.E. Strimback, mayor; Albert B. Cummins, governor; William Loeb, Jr., secretary.

Carriage No. 2 – Surgeon General P.M. Rixey, U.S.N.; Assistant Secretary Latta; T.H. Netherland, secret service man.

Carriage No. 3. – J. A. McElhenney, Seth Bullock, Dr. S. W. Moorhead, Dr. E. B. Newcomb.

Carriage No. 4. – Mr. Haney, H. A. Strohmeyer, representative New York Sun Press association, Hon. E. P. McManus.

Carriage No. 5. – Hon. J.E. Smith of St. Louis; Rev. Gigilager; representative United Press association; Thomas Dawson, representative of the Associated Press association.

Carriage No. 6. – Governor Charles S. Deneen, Governor J.O. Davidson, Wells M. Irwin, F. T. Hughes.

Carriage No. 7. – Governor E.W. Koch, Governor G.E. Chamberlin, A. L. Parsons, John E. Craig.

Carriage No. 8. – Governor George L. Sheldon, Governor Bryant B. Brooks, Governor John Burke, W. J. Roberts.

Carriage No. 9. – Governor N. B. Broward, Governor C.L. Crawford, E. S. Baker, J.R. Wiek.

Carriage No. 10. – Governor Frank Frantz, Gov. N. C. Rhinehard, Frank Louis Sterns.

Carriage No. 11 – Hon. S. R. Van Sant, John [illegible], secretary; W.C. Hayward, secretary of state; C.R. Joy.

Carriage No. 12. – W.W. Morrow, state treasurer; John F. Riggs, superintendent of instruction; James Cameron; R.A. Dollery.

Carriage No. 13. – H.W. Byers, attorney general; N.E. Kendall, speaker of the house; T.J. Hickey; A.C. Wustrow.

Carriage No. 14. – B. F. Carroll, auditor of state; H. G. Seeman, Charles Off.

Carriage No. 15. - Hon. George W. Prince, member of congress; Alonzo Bryan, Earl Lindstrand, P. Tique, Jr.

Carriage No. 16 - General A. MacKenzie, Senator William Warren, Senator John H. Bankhead, A. E. Johnstone.

Carriage No. 17. - Hon. Theodore E. Barton, Senator Francis G. Newlands, C. S. Richie, William Logan.

Carriage No. 18. - Hon. J. W. McGee, Hon. F. H. Newell, Hon. Thomas Wilkinson, Hon. D. J. Argus.

Carriage No. 19 - Hon Gifford Pinchot, Hon. Herbert Knox Smith, Commander Lewis A. Van Duser, Captain G. R. Lukeseh.

Carriage No. 20 - Hon. S. F. [?], G.W. Durham, C. P. [?], S. Edwards

Carriage No. 21 - O. L. Whitelaw, vice president of St. Louis Business Men's league; Dr. Lewis A. Thomas, secretary of state board of health; Victor Rosewater, O. A. Talbot.

Carriage No. 22 - Secretary Boswell of the Upper Mississippi River Improvement association.

Introductory Speeches.

When all were seated to the satisfaction of the president and the Iowa governor Mayor Strimback in a few fitting words introduced Governor A. B. Cummins of Iowa who said:

“It is always a great pleasure to me to welcome the chief magistrate of a great nation to the borders of our commonwealth; and this feeling of pleasure is greatly intensified when that chief magistrate is a leader of not only one great country, but one whose voice is heard in all of the great countries of the world. Mr. President, your place is firmly fixed in the hearts of our people and I am glad to welcome you to Iowa. Again I must heartily great you in the name of the great state of Iowa.”

Governor Cummins’ words of welcome were listened to with close attention, and at its close there was great applause. When the applause subsided, Mayor W.E. Strimback, as the respresentative of Keokuk, formaly presented the president to the vast audience.

Mr. Roosevelt arose amid tremendous cheering and prefaced his address by saying:

“It is indeed a great pleasure to me to be here in your thriving city in this prosperous state of Iowa, and I am also very glad to be greeted here by all of you and the rest of you will not mind it if I say to you that I am particularly glad to be greeted by the veterans of a great war. And I know that these men would really assent to my including in this statement the men who were the gray. We are all one country, sure. The next thing to being a good soldier is being a good mother. I am particularly glad to see these children. These children convince me that here in Iowa you have a good crop and I like your stock.”

When the president, in his introductory remarks alluded to the children and turned to them and addressed them directly intense joy was written on the faces of all of them – such joy as only the heart of a child can know, and after he had finished with the brief sentences of introduction he delivered his address which is given in full in another part of this paper. The president began his speech at 10:25 and about the middle of it a light rain began to fall, but he paid no attention to the gentle shower which later increased till for a short while it was a rain sufficient to cause many in the audience to raise umbrellas or to seek shelter of the trees in the park. Several times during the address of the president he looked down to the old soldiers seated immediately along the front of the platform and asked them at the conclusion of a particular statement, “Ain’t that so?” The president closed his speech at 11:12 o’clock and quite a number of those who occupied seats on the platform shook hands with him before he entered his carriage. The carriages containing the governors and the members of the executive committee and others who rode to the park in the parade were driven at a lively trot out of the park and down Grand Avenue, the troops of the National guard accompanying the parade on the double-quick. This line of march was somewhat changed from the original plan, the carriages being driven down to the river on Bank street, instead of going from Third and Main streets down Main street to the river.


Dan H. Anderson Gave the President Gold Headed Cane as Remembrance from Keokuk Colored Citizens

One of the interesting incidents in connection with the program on the speaker’s stand yesterday morning was the presentation of a gold-headed cane to President Roosevelt by the colored citizens of Keokuk, the presentation speech being made by Dan H. Anderson. Just at the close of the president’s address Mr. Anderson, who had been accorded the privilege by the executive committee beforehand, stepped up to the front of the platform and standing close to the president addressed him as follows:

“Mr. President – I have been entrusted by my people and honored by the committee and our many colored friends and admirers of Keokuk, by being given the opportunity of presenting to you this small token of there esteem for you. Permit me to say that we are proud of our country and its manifold achievements under your administration, and we believe that your every act has been prompted by the very purest motives.”

President Roosevelt, in accepting the gift of the handsome cane, showed very plainly that he was pleased with the gift and that he took it in the spirit in which it was intended. He made a brief reply, saying, in substance:

“I desire to say to you that I most heartily appreciate this expression of the good will of your people in this city, and I desire to further say to you that it has ever been my purpose and ever shall be my purpose to treat all men for what they prove themselves to be worth, to deal fairly with all classes regardless of any conditions or class. I thank your people for this expression and personally thank you, too.”

While speaking to the presentee of the cane the president looked into the face of Mr. Anderson steadfastly and talked in a most earnest tone, shaking hands with him heartily at the conclusion of the speech of acceptance.

To the case in which the cane was enclosed was attached an envelope in which was a brief statement of the conditions which led the colored citizens of this city to remember the president by the manner stated above.


Contents of the President's Speech at Keokuk Generally Assigned as the Cause for Call on Wall Street

New York, Oct. 1. The professional element in speculation operated with some freedom in stocks today. The contents of President Roosevelt's speech at Keokuk was generally assigned as the cause for selling by the professional element. Something must be allowed, judging of the stock market response to the address, for the character of some assertions recently circulated in Wall Street of the coming modification of the attitude of the powers of the government toward corporations and of the moderate scope in shaping further measures of policy. Even those portions of today's address which were a reiteration of the previously expressed determination, therefore ran in counter to some of these rumors...


The back of this postcard is particularly interesting. The message, written in German, is posted to a correspondent in Hannover, Germany. The message states:

Keokuk, Iowa, Oct. 4th 07.

Dear Elli, This picture shows the arrival scene of the President, who began a trip down the Mississippi from here a few days ago. The President is leaning over the railing of the last car and "is shaking hands." Best wishes, Ernst.

From the perspective of a postcard collector, one of the most notable aspects of this postcard is that it is postmarked Oct. 4, 1907 - just three days after the president's visit. This shows a remarkably quick turn around in the production of a topical postcard.

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